Arif Bhatti (Pakistan) and Kanvee Gaines Adams (Liberia) have blended their talents to produce a new song for Christmas. The two vocalists have never met in person, but they share a passion for worship and the desire that all may hear and experience the good news of Christ. They also share a desire to see people – especially children – healed from emotional trauma and distress.
Kanvee is an award-winning gospel artist, and the KORA Goodwill Ambassador on Ebola for Liberia. She says, “My wish for these songs is that they reach nations, that they bring joy to the hurting and peace to troubled hearts and light to those in darkness.”
Arif has written over 600 worship songs. “I would call Christmas a season of worship more than all other things,” he says, “My wish for these songs is that they bring people from all nations into the knowledge of Jesus’s coming and its purpose. May they bring joy to all who are grieved and heal their hearts.”
The idea for the songs came during a mental health training workshop in Pakistan. Dr. Lyn Westman is the Mental Health Program Consultant for both Mercy Ships and Tributaries International. She was teaching in Pakistan, with Arif interpreting. Kanvee was a friend Dr. Westman had met in Liberia years earlier. Kanvee had shared her music on the Africa Mercy. She and Dr. Westman had worked together on the ELWA radio counseling program.
Once Dr. Westman connected the two artists, they worked tirelessly across the distance spanning several time zones to complete the recordings in time for Christmas. “Thank God for the increase in knowledge which has brought technology to our disposal,” says Kanvee. “We should use it to reach people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds with this one gospel of Jesus Christ. One great tool that the Lord has given to us as Christians is the Holy Spirit that interprets all languages so we can work together in spreading the word of God.”
In the west, we don’t often think of places like Pakistan or Liberia when we think of Christmas music, but as Arif says: “We have to remember that all of us from different cultures across the borders are on one team … All cultures and societies have great differences, but Jesus and His love are the same everywhere.”
All proceeds from these two songs will be directed for trauma healing projects for children and for the elderly in Liberia and Pakistan who have been traumatized by Ebola and/or extreme violence.